Mexico claimed gold in the women’s football final at the Pan Am Games on Friday after beating host Chile 1-0.
With their two specialist goalkeepers, Christiane Endler and Antonia Canales, leaving the team to return to their clubs, Chile had to rely on striker Maria Jose Urrutia in net.
However, the 29-year-old forward was unable to prevent a first-half goal from Rebeca Bernal, who fired an unstoppable free-kick into the top right corner in the 30th minute.
Despite good possession and constant pressure, the Chileans failed to find an equaliser. In the second half, the Mexicans pressed harder, with Maria Sanchez’s goal disallowed for offside at the 51th.
The play led to a heavy collision between Chilean defender Fernanda Ramirez and Urrutia that left the substitute goalkeeper injured on the pitch for a couple of minutes.
Urrutia, though, did not back down and, with the Chileans defending brilliantly, she denied the Mexicans the chance to extend their lead, with a save in the 91st minute in added time.
Mexico’s first gold medal in football at the Pan American Games for the women’s team follows the Central American and Pacific Games championship after defeating Venezuela in July.
Chile continues its quest for gold at the Pan Am Games in football with the men’s team facing Brazil in the final on Saturday.